Arrillaga’s gym donation to city is now off the table

John Arrillaga

Daily Post Staff Writer

A donation of up to $35 million to build a public gym in Palo Alto is no longer on the table after the donor, billionaire developer John Arrillaga, died last month, putting the future of the project in question.

The Palo Alto City Council will talk about what to do next at their March 8 meeting.

Arrillaga has a history of donating for public buildings on the mid-Peninsula, and he often chooses the design and hires the contractors. This model was no longer possible after he died, a report from City Manager Ed Shikada says.

Palo Alto could still go forward with the project, but the city would need to find the money, Shikada said. The gym would compete with several other projects, including a new animal shelter, a skate park, a history museum, a dog park and improvements to existing parks. Shikada said.

1 Comment

  1. Arrilaga’s generous offer would have torn Palo Alto to pieces. Imagine the combat between ever-opinionated Palo Altans over the offer of a free gym with the condition that it be designed and constructed by the donor, cutting out the notorious “Palo Alto process”, and the opportunity for anybody with an opinion to have a say in it’s construction and drive the costs sky-high. “Free stuff” vs. shutting up. What a dilema!

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